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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

HAIR OF WHALES                                34!

iHmt'usioiiS of thti lag.ger Whales are probuMy due to the fact that
measure meets have been tiken, not in a, straight line front snout
to tail, but along the bulging side.-* of the Cetacean, rendered even
more convex than in nature by decomposition, and by pressure
duti to the immense tonnage of the creature.

The Cetacea are the most perfectly aquatic of all mammals ;
they nevtT leave the waters which they inhabit. It is true that
legends have represented them AS pasturing upon the shore—
Aeliazi npoke of Dolphins racking in the sun's rays upon the
sand ; and the ** Devil Fish " of California, Jtfttteh'iinifctfs (see
p. JJ57) has given rL<e to Improbable stories—'but they are

Fia. 180.—-Killer.    Orca fffadiator.     x-4\    (After True.)
apparently only legends. Indeed a stranded Whale cannot
live long, for it is unable to breathe, the comparatively feeble
"breast being crushed by its own weight. In accordance with
the purely aquatic habit, we find a modification of the outward
form of the body (and as we shall see later of many of the in-
ternal organs), which renders the Cetacea externally unlike all
ofcher mammals. The form is fish-like, the fore-limbs are paddles,
the tail is expanded into two horizontal flukes, which serve to
propel the creature through the water.
The skin is smooth and shiny, so smooth and so shiny that it
has often "been compared to coach leather. But nevertheless
they are not entirely without that most essential character of the
class Manunaliii, a coating of hair. The hairy covering ig» how-
ever, reduced to the very smallest proportions; it is represented